When I wrote about the Lessons I Learned from my Mom before her passing, I wrote it on the day that is now what I call my “Second Birthday.” It was the day that marked me being alive longer than my mom lived. Your responses to me were so overwhelming! They were so heart-felt and appreciated. Thank you for that outpouring of love and support. My hope is that you take in those three lessons I learned from my mom into your hearts and your life. It’s only right and fair that I share some of the amazing gifts I have received and lessons I learned from my dad, who is alive, well and thriving, thank goodness! I still get to learn from him.
While my mom taught me so much about forgiveness, gratitude and fun, my dad taught me so many other traits that have led me to where I am today. Let me share three of them with you.
Lesson 1: Don’t Ever Be Afraid to Make a Change
My father had over 50 jobs in his lifetime! 51 to be exact! Nine of his jobs were before the ripe old age of 18, prior to entering the Navy for 5 years. He did not sit around and wait for things to be handed to him, because they weren’t coming. He went out and hustled to make money and to survive. I can remember a time when I was very young I don’t recall seeing much of him at all. That is because he was working three jobs to put food on the table and keep a roof over our heads. He did whatever he had to do and made the changes necessary to keep going. We moved around a lot because of his desire to create a better life for us. He wasn’t afraid to take risks and make changes, and I’ll always be grateful for that.
I learned to be fearless and take risks from my Dad.
Lesson 2: Accept Love that is Expressed to You No Matter What the Form
My father’s father (my grandfather) died when my father was a very young boy. He was the youngest by 9 years and had two older sisters. His only real “male” role models were his brothers-in-law. They were not demonstrative men when it came to expressing emotions. Therefore, my father grew up thinking that expressing the words “I Love You” was a sign of weakness. He didn’t begin saying those words to me until I was 24 years old. (I write about the powerful, beautiful moment in my book, “I Have Today: Find Your Passion, Purpose and Smile…Finally!”
Once he started saying those words, he has never stopped. However, when we were young, my father showed his “love” in other ways. He would bring home gifts, or candy, for us. He would spend time with us singing into a recorder, and other special moments like that. Despite the pleas to not be disappointed because there was going to be “less” under the Christmas Tree that year, there was always PLENTY under the tree. I never once felt that I wasn’t loved or that I needed more. He expressed love in HIS way, and I knew how much he loved me… always.
I learned how to accept people just as they are and accept love in all forms from my Dad.
Lesson 3: Actions Speak Louder Than Words
My dad is a “doer.” He lives his life so big and loud. He loves his well-deserved retirement and travels all over the world. He has been taking a weekly dance class for almost a decade. He volunteered at the airport at the information desk. He and his girlfriend go out all the time… happy hour, movies, shows, dinners, time with friends. He never sits still for long. He lives his life “In Action” doing what he loves. He makes things happen. So many people comment to me, “Your Dad is living quite the life!” Yes, he is! We all should be living “Quite the Life!” He made it that way. He’s not “wealthy” but he is so rich being in love with life! You can’t put a value or price tag on that.
I learned to live my life “In Action” from my Dad.
Isn’t it nice that I can pay homage to my Dad while he is still alive!?! What about your parents… are they still living? What lessons have you learned from them? What would it mean for them to read or hear something like this from you? What a gift!!! I’d love to know what lessons you learned. Please comment and share.
Our “teachers” are everywhere, but our two most powerful teachers are the ones that gave us life. Look to them and remind yourself of the “gifts” you received from them… even the painful lessons. They teach us so much, too! You are who you are today because of all of it… no right or wrong, no good or bad… just perfect imperfection. How wonderful!
LOVE IT!: I LOVE MY DAD FOR ALL OF HIS STRENGTH AND GUIDANCE!
THANK IT!: I AM GRATEFUL FOR ALL THE LESSONS MY DAD TAUGHT ME!
BRING IT!: I MOVE FEARLESSLY IN MY LIFE BECAUSE OF MY DAD’S GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT!
Quote: “Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad.” – Anne Geddes
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